A diagnostic device designed to ensure the safe placement of medical feeding tubes by NGPod Global has won over a tough panel – beating the competition of 11 other strong pitches – in the final of the Innovation Showcase Competition at Venturefest North West 2019.
The independent panel, which comprised business specialists from Bruntwood Works, Catax, Dehns, Graphene Innovation Engineering Centre, Made Smarter, Manchester Metropolitan University, NatWest and the University of Salford, awarded NGPod Global with a business support package worth nearly £10,000.
A second winner at the prestigious competition final – Dicey Tech– received the Audience Award chosen by delegates at the event, which attracted a record attendance of 1,150 to Manchester Central, and will receive a similar business development support package.
Cameron Thorpe, Head of Marketing and Communications at NGPod Global, said: “It means a lot for our organisation to win the Innovation Showcase at Venturefest North West. The overall competition was extremely high with lots of innovative businesses pitching to the panel today, so it feels very special to win.
“The recognition from winning this award will help us to achieve further investment for our business and help us to scale-up our manufacturing. Thanks to all the team who got behind my pitch and have worked on the product for the business because without them, none of this would be possible.”
Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, Venturefest North West’s headline sponsor for 2019, said: “Congratulations to NGPod Global, who met some fierce competition today and delivered an incredible pitch that had the full attention of the panel. They should be very proud, as should all of today’s finalists.
“While the competition demonstrates how tough it can be for entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, Venturefest is fundamentally about boosting collaboration across our North West ecosystem and I think the encouragement shown across the board today speaks volumes. It’s been a pleasure to sponsor Venturefest, a unique event where everybody involved has had chance to develop their business ideas and hopefully take new opportunities forward as a result.”
NGPod also took away the Production Innovation Award at the Innovation Showcase Competition Final. Other winners included Dream Agility (Digital Innovation Award), Alison Handling Services (Most Innovative Established Business), and Dicey Tech who also won the Service Innovation Award. These businesses will also receive business support packages.
The annual competition received entries from more than 120 start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses from across the region, and was one of the centrepieces of a ground-breaking Venturefest North West, which took place today (Wednesday 20 November) at Manchester Central.
Former BBC Dragons Den judge Jenny Campbell, Founder & CEO of YourCash Europe delivered a keynote speech at Venturefest North West which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Jenny’s speech covered her extensive business career, how she has both challenged and been challenged by her leadership roles in the banking sector, and her time on the Dragons Den panel.
Earlier in the day, Founder & Managing Director of US-based Elevate Capital, Nitin Rai, discussed his background and the importance of investing in businesses led by women and minority ethnic groups. A speech was also delivered by Nine Lives Media Founder Cat Lewis about her business journey in broadcast television.
Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at organisers GC Business Growth Hub, said: “Huge congratulations to overall winner NGPod Global, Audience Winner Dicey Tech, and all of today’s winners and finalists. This has been the most successful Venturefest North West yet, and it’s been fantastic to see the breadth of business innovation from across our region.
“The point of Venturefest North West is to encourage fresh thinking and collaboration – and with 50-plus speakers and panellists, more than 80 business exhibiting, and 1,150 entrepreneurs coming together under one roof it has really captured the imagination of the business community.”
Registrations for Venturefest North West 2020 are now open at: venturefestnorhwest.com/2020.
The full Innovation Showcase Competition finalists were:
AI Rehab – Based in Lytham St. Annes, they produce patented apps and devices for patients having hip and knee surgery; encouraging effective rehabilitation behavioural change through gamification and the implementation of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Artemis Analytical Ltd. – A start-up company based in Manchester that is developing a quantum-based technology for enhancing the sensitivity of mass spectrometry by more than a factor of 1000. This is currently being used to develop a table top device for carbon dating.
Clever Cogs – Based in Salford, Clever Cogs develop unique immersive mobile Learning Experiences for teachers and pupils that are fun, productive alternatives to school trips.
Dicey Tech – A Manchester edtech company that enables young generations to become technology creators by using 3D-printing to teach secondary-school students tech, enterprise skills, and careers insight.
Dream Agility – A Ramsbottom-based tech company developing the latest in Visual AI and Machine Learning, retailers such as Samsung to grow sales.
Eco-Mist Biotechnics – A Cumbrian business that has developed a range of exclusive, highly effective healthcare and hygiene products that eradicate 99.9999% of pathogens in rooms and vehicles, yet are harmless to humans, animals and the environment.
Neptune Solutions – A Failsworth organisation that designs innovative, modular, adjustable and environmentally friendly fluid management systems for flood management and water retention.
NGPod Global – From its base in Manchester Science Park, the business provides innovative solutions to the patient safety issues surrounding nasogastric (NG) tube placement.
Rhythm Digital – Based in Manchester, Rhythm Digital make Piing, a web product which gets crowds playing, shouting and interacting by joining big screen arcade games, using their phones as controllers.
Seven Bro7hers – A brewery in Salford which has gone on to become one of the most popular craft beer breweries in the UK.
Wattl – A new video platform established in Manchester which blends user-generated videos with professional content from broadcasters and brands.
Venturefest North West is run by GC Business Growth Hub, in partnership with Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, Cumbria Growth Hub, Liverpool City Region’s Local Growth Hub, and Boost – Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about the organisation’s extensive range of services. This and other GC Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.